While Macau has been reaping in record revenues in 2014, Nevada hasn’t had the same luck, so to speak. Fresh off of seeing gaming revenue in January decrease 2.76% year-on-year, February’s numbers are much worse, plunging 13.7 percent because of massive declines in baccarat winnings.
The $926.1 million the state’s casinos earned in February was a sharp decline from the $1.1 billion it raked in the same month a year ago. If that isn’t alarming enough, casinos in the Strip have more reason to have sweaty palms in the desert, posting an alarming 20.1-percent decline in gaming revenue to just $555.7 million from the $696.1 million that was won a year ago. Casinos at South Lake Tahoe also fell by a sizable margin, dropping 9.5 percent year-on-year to just $14.7 million for the month.
In the face of this worrying drop in revenue, certain parts of the state did post some gains, albeit marginally. Clubs in downtown Las Vegas posted a 3 percent improvement to $43 million whereas casinos in Reno saw its revenues barely claw its way to a 1-percent improvement at $44 million.
For the entire month, casino revenue generated from baccarat amounted to $158.4 million, a staggering 40-percent drop from Nevada’s record-setting numbers in February 2013 when the game accounted for $263.8 million of the total $1.1 billion in revenues. It gets more disappointing from here, particularly because gamblers have apparently held true to the saying “you can’t lose money you don’t bet with”. That was evident in the amount wagered in baccarat last month when the state Gaming Control Board reported betting volume of just $1.3 billion, 19.1 percent lower than the $1.6 billion that was bet on last year.
Even with Nevada sports books raking in a record $19.7 million from the Super Bowl, that figure ended up barely helping the state’s revenue bottom line, accounting for just 2 percent of the final numbers. Online poker didn’t fare that well either in its revenue report since it’s inception in the state 10 months ago. Hardly flattering that with three companies licensed in Nevada, online poker only brought in $824,000 in revenue, or just a tad under 9 percent of the total $9.3 million in revenue the state earned from card games.
Still, people with a glass-half-full outlook on the matter will point to the ridiculous standards set by February 2013 when it posted record winnings. Despite the drop in money earned, the state will made good for the month, benefitting – to a much lesser extent than Macau – from the Chinese New Year holidays that attracted a significant number of Asian high rollers. At the end of the day, it could have been worse for Nevada.